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Mystery of woman found dead in flower bed, holding a partially smoked marijuana stick

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A house party held in contravention of Covid-19 ban on social gatherings ended in tragedy after one of the participants died, leaving the police with no indication of who could have been responsible.

Ms Sheila Njeri Murage’s body was last Saturday discovered in a flower bed at Santonia Court in the upmarket Kilimani in Nairobi by workers at the property. Blood was oozing from her nose, and she had some back injuries.

She was holding a partially smoked marijuana stick.

ENCLOSED PROPERTY

Santonia Court is an enclosed property with at least six apartments and only one entrance on Kirichwa Gardens Road. It is manned round the clock by G4S guards.

Neighbours do not recall hearing any commotion but acknowledge that there was a party at house number B 03 on the second floor.

The house belongs to Ms Claire Chepkoech Nge’no and in attendance were Christine Awuor Aluoch and Shem Lwanga Mang’ula.

Ms Njeri also attended the party, but what the three don’t agree about is when she left the party, how she ended up dead in a flower bed and how no one knows what killed her.

This is the basis of what has now become e a homicide investigation at the Kilimani Police Division after an post-mortem report on Ms Murage’s body revealed that she ‘might have been hit on the head.

READ ALSO:   Who's killing girls in this apartment?

The post-mortem was conducted by Dr Frank Njenga at the City Mortuary and the report released last evening said Ms Njeri had “head injuries due to blunt force trauma.”

INVITED BY A FRIEND

In custody waiting to be taken to court again Thursday morning are Mr Mang’ula, Ms Ng’eno and Ms Aluoch.

A friend of Mr Mang’ula who spoke to the Nation said that, on the material day, Mr Mang’ula was drinking at 1824 on Langata Road when he was invited by a friend to Ms Ng’eno’s house.

“It wasn’t really a party. Only four people were present and Mr Mang’ula blacked out and slept on the couch because he could not go home due to the curfew,” the friend said.

“The next morning he woke up and went home before being summoned by the police. No one has any idea of what happened, including the police,” he said.

CONTRADICTORY VERSIONS

But detectives privy to the investigation say they have reason to believe the three have an idea of how Ms Njeri died, since their versions of the events are contradictory.

The Nation has been told that detectives investigating the case will ask the court to allow them to detain the three longer as they conclude investigations.

READ ALSO:   Who's killing girls in this apartment?

While presenting them in court on Monday, the DCI said the three are suspected to have jointly killed Ms Njeri.

“The respondents herein were arrested on July 17, 2020, at Santonia Court within Kilimani area on the suspicion of having committed an offence of murder,” detective John Masi, who is leading the investigation, told the court.

Senior state prosecuting counsel Kennedy Panyako told the court that the suspects gave conflicting accounts of the whereabouts of the deceased before her body was found, raising suspicion that they know what happened to her.

“The respondents’ explanation of events after the party raises questions due to the contradictions and inconsistencies in their statements,” Mr Panyako told the court.

WHO INVITED NJERI?

Among the questions detectives are seeking answers to are how Ms Njeri found herself at the party,  who invited her, when she left — if at all she did— and why all those present say they don’t know how she died.

In addition, police want to know how no one at Santonia Court heard any commotion, and why it took so long to discover that there was a body in a flower bed within the premises. Ms Murage’s body was discovered at 9am on Saturday.

READ ALSO:   Who's killing girls in this apartment?

In their statements to the police, the three suspects all claimed that Ms Murage left the party at some point. But they gave different accounts of the time she left.

It is also not clear whether Ms Murage was a tenant at the apartment or whether she was visiting someone who lives there but found herself at the party.

“I always see her around but she does not live here,” one of the residents at the apartments told the Nation.

FREQUENTLY SEEN

It is said that a house on the fifth floor of the apartment where she was frequently seen was not hers.

The Nation learnt that it is owned by a man who rents it out using the AirBnb website, and that Njeri occasionally used it to host visitors. No one knows what she did for a living.

At least 10 people have recorded statements with the police, including the guards who were on duty on Friday night, the property’s caretaker and Ms Ngeno’s neighbours.

DNA samples from the suspects have also been taken and are being analysed, as are their fingerprints and CCTV footage.

The case will be heard this morning at the Milimani Law Courts.

By Daily Nation

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Health

Funerals of Homa Bay nurse, UoN don set for today

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The funeral ceremony of University of Nairobi lecturer Ken Ouko is expected to be conducted later today.

The don’s funeral was scheduled to take place Friday morning at his parents home in Homa Bay County.

His brother Dave Calo told the Nation that the funeral procession left Nairobi on Friday at dawn and is expected to reach his Nyandiwa Village of Homabay County by 11am.

They had been expected to leave Nairobi on Thursday night to arrive home by dawn.

“We have been forced to adjust our programme and this could extend late into the day,” he said.

grave

David Kalo at the graveyard of his late brother Ken Ouko. Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

The body of renowned UoN don who succumbed to Covid-19 complications last Saturday will not be viewed to protect mourners.

“We have been advised by Homa Bay County Covid-19 emergency response team that the body should not leave the hearse when it arrives at the homestead,” he said.

Instead of being placed next to his parents’ house as is the norm with the Luo customs, the body will be taken directly to his grave site which was dug on Sunday.

Mr Ouko will be buried at the family graveyard next to his mother and brother who passed on earlier.

READ ALSO:   Who's killing girls in this apartment?

The Homa Bay County Covid-19 emergency response team will take over from their Nairobi counterparts to ensure safety within the compound.

He died at 56-years-old, bringing to five the number of UoN lecturers who have died of Covid-19.

Nurse Marian

Meanwhile, Marian Awuor Adumbo, a medic who worked at the Rachuonyo Sub-county Hospital in Homa Bay, will also be buried today.

Nurse Marian succumbed to Covid-19 at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital on Sunday evening, two weeks after giving birth to a healthy baby boy.

The nurse’s body was scheduled to leave Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary at 8 am for an hour’s journey to her for the funeral ceremony expected to be over by 11 am.

Marian, 32, was a theatre nurse at Rachuonyo Sub-county hospital in Oyugis town, Homa Bay County but was transferred to KTRH after her condition worsened.

She had celebrated her birthday on July 24, the same day she gave birth to her first born child.

Just four days after, she tested positive for Covid-19. She died six days later, while in ICU.

Her family and colleagues have claimed her death was as a result of negligence, alleging that no one was willing to attend to her and that she was left unattended for some time.

READ ALSO:   Who's killing girls in this apartment?

“Doctors and nurses at KTRH are on a go slow because they have not received their salaries. Our patient was left unattended from Friday last week with our newborn left to feed on air,” her husband Stephen Okal Oketch said as he narrated his devastation.

Consequently, Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang has asked Senate to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death.

The Senator has questioned why the nurse had to be transferred to Kisii when all county governments were asked to equip their hospitals with life support machines to help critically ill Covid-19 patients.

By NN

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Lifestyle

VIDEO: Bodies of 2 boys who went missing last month found in swamp

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The families of two boys who went missing late last month have been left in shock after the bodies of their kin were found in a swamp on Thursday afternoon.

The bodies of 13-year-old John Njenga and 10-year-old Kevin Kariuki were found by other boys who had gone to the swamp to swim.

The two friends and neighbours were last seen in public grazing livestock near Cha Manguo pond in Limuru on July 25, according to residents.

A family member, Samuel Kamau said that the three boys had been seen herding sheep near the area on the day they went missing.

“One of the boys led his herd back home, however, Njenga and Kariuki never came back returned. We want the police to investigate the incident since we have been left with so many unanswered questions,” said Kamau.

The local Chief Michael Kang’ethe, while confirming the incident said the third boy told them that Njenga and Kariuki had asked him to accompany them to Manguo swamp, but he declined.

He added that children, who were herding goats near the pond saw two bodies floating on the pool, prompting them to report the shocking discovery to residents.

Bodies of the two were taken to Uplands Funeral Home awaiting postmortem.

READ ALSO:   Who's killing girls in this apartment?

Njenga was a Class Eight pupil at Ngarariga Primary School, whereas his neighbour, Kariuki, was a Class Four pupil at Bibilioni Primary School.

BY NN

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Lifestyle

22 years later, blast victims still crying for compensation

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Victims and survivors of the 1998 US embassy bomb blast are still waiting for justice and compensation, 22 years after the first terror attack on Kenyan soil.

Duke Rading, who lost his wife, Margaret in the blast that left 224 people dead and 5,000 others injured says they feel shortchanged by the Kenya and US government, who have kept a studious silence since the blast that changed their lives forever.

“We just hear stories that victims and survivors of the blast are going to be paid. We have never received any compensation. When people call you saying that you are lucky that you now have some compensation you feel offended,” Rading says. The only money they got was Sh200,000 to cater for the burial expenses while a petition they had logged with the government seeking compensation was not successful.

“There was a time some American lawyers took our details to file a case in the US courts. We don’t know what happened to the case,” he says. In May this year, the US supreme Court sided with families and victims of the blasts in Kenya and Tanzania, clearing the way for their lawsuit against Sudan government over its alleged support of al-Qaeda and complicity in the attacks. The victims were seeking US$ 4.3 billion in punitive damages. In June, Sudan Foreign Minister Asmaa Abdallah told Al Jazeera that they had sent a delegation to Washington to negotiate with the victims’ lawyers and officials of the US department of State about the compensation.

However, as the nation marks the 22nd anniversary of the blast today, the victims and survivors say they do not hope to benefit from this settlement as it will largely benefit employees or contractors at the US embassy. To them, the events of August 7, 1998 might be blurry and distant footnote in Kenya’s history, but the memories of their loved ones and the horrific manner in which they lost their lives is still fresh in

READ ALSO:   Who's killing girls in this apartment?

their minds. Rading’s wife was working as an administration officer at the Egyptian Embassy when the blast happened, marking the end of a young marriage and leaving him with two children who were seven and nine years at the time.

“My children are now grown up. The last 22 years have not been easy for us. My wife and I were complementing each other. We were servicing a mortgage and our children were in a good school. Since then life has changed. It has not been easy playing the role of a mother and a father,” he says. After 22 years, Rading says he has had to accept what happened and count his blessings with the hope that one day they will get compensation for the loss of their loved ones.

“I know families who were worse off than I was so I have learnt to keep going. We stopped pegging our hope on compensation and moved on, but we will never forget the injustice meted against us,” he says.

Same aftermath

Anisa Mwilu, who lost her husband in the blast teamed up with 50 widows and filed a case at the High Court last year to seek compensation.

Anisa Mwilu, lost her husband Abdalla Musyoka Mwilu who was working at the Cooperative Bank, adjacent to the US embassy.
PD/ COURTESY

“We haven’t given up hope for compensation because it is not fair for the government to forget us just like that. This was the first terror attack on Kenyan soil and therefore if the government intends to set aside a fund to cater for victims of such events, then we should be the first to benefit,” she says. Mwilu says the memories of the incident are still etched in her mind.

“When I saw the Beirut explosion on Television this week, it reminded me of that day. I know the events were different but the aftermath was the same,” she says.

READ ALSO:   Who's killing girls in this apartment?

Her husband, Abdalla Musyoka Mwilu was working at the Cooperative Bank, which was adjacent to the US embassy.

“It was the first day he was reporting back to work after he suffered a stroke and he was still not able to walk well. I had just dropped him to the office and I was driving back home when I heard the blast. I turned back and went to his office. On reaching there it was so chaotic and everyone was running around confused. I just wanted to get into his office which was on the first floor and get him out. I couldn’t because the building was on fire and police were turning people away,” she narrates. It took her five days to finally trace her husband’s body at City Mortuary after searching for him in all hospitals and mortuaries in the city.

“It was the most painful day of my life. I asked myself so many questions. I was 30 years and I was looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together. We had three children to care of and I was utterly devastated,” she says.

Mwilu says they did not get any compensation, save for the fact the US government paid school fees for her children for three months and then stopped.

For Juma Kwayera, a veteran journalist, a trip to buy a television set for his children aged five and two, turned out to be an experience he will never forget.

“I was supposed to alight at Fig Tree stage. The driver of the Matatu just refused to stop there and brought me all the way to town. I alighted at the Development House and decided to walk into the Teachers Service Commission to sort out an issue first. The first blast went off when I was standing at the traffic lights. I thought it was a robbery attempt because there were so many banks around there. When the second blast went off, I knew it was something more serious and I ran and hid under a matatu that was parked nearby,” he says.

READ ALSO:   Who's killing girls in this apartment?

When he emerged, part of his face had been ripped off by glass and debris.

“It was a horrific scene and everyone was running around in a daze. I noticed that flesh was dangling from my face and people were looking at me and running away. I had to compose myself and get help. I remembered that I had a doctor who was a friend working at a hospital nearby. I started running towards there. Coincidentally, I met my wife who was working at the exam council near there and she was also running for her life. The level of hysteria I saw in her eyes scared me. She identified me and walked me to the hospital. The doctors there were so afraid I was going to lose my eyesight so they struggled for six hours to save my face. There were so many people coming in so I left the hospital at midnight,” he says. Juma, who was working at a local media house, says nothing prepared him for his children’s reaction.

“My children were five and two years of age. They were looking forward to me coming home with a TV. They were surprised to see me with bandages on my face. I remember my son vowing to kill the fool who dared do this to his father,” he says. The son is Dennis Juma, a famous rugby player. Juma later underwent reconstructive surgery to restore his face.

“I am grateful that I survived the incident because I later learnt that at least 14 people, who were in a KBS bus near where I was standing, died. It would have been worse so accepted what happened and moved on,” he says.

Kwayera, however, feels sad that the only money he got as compensation from the US government was Sh30,000.

By PD

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